Mateti says he was disheartened that his airline had acted solely on the basis of social media posts, with no consultation with the pilot, as the rule book outlines. The captain may or may not have meant others to read between the lines, but it’s impossible not to do so. “Moving forward, am I to understand that the bar for interpretation of a disruptive passenger is lower/different when it comes to high profile cases?… I would like a clarification from the airline as this leaves a lot of room for ambiguity,” reads the letter.
The video of Kamra heckling Goswami makes for unattractive viewing, even if one accepts that Kamra was giving Goswami a taste of his own bitter pill. This is also a “medicine” that Goswami’s reporters use generously: see the face of someone opposing the channel’s politics and fly in for a brutal tackle (politicians Shashi Tharoor and Tejashwi Yadav are some who’ve been caught unawares by Goswami’s team).
In times as divisive as these, after nine years of service, Mateti’s actions are bound to be read as an act of rebellion, even if they weren’t meant to be.
How: The running joke on social media is that the now-famous Indigo’s captain might be forced to jump ships, or airlines. And blessed be the airline that takes on the weight of both Kamra and the captain. But the fact remains that incidents such as these have now reignited a debate around how long one can work with a company to pay for roti, kapda and makaan if it goes against personal principles. Good folks on social media are already sending out feelers to reporters in Goswami’s Republic who cannot align themselves with their employers’ politics anymore.
We agree with the poet Walt Whitman when he writes in O Captain! My Captain! that that particular fearful trip is done. But that’s where our stories diverge. What our captain, blessed with a strong backbone, needs is solidarity from his crew and passengers as he holds up the rule book. There are many among us who will feel content and proud if occasion rises for us to hear his name on a flight announcement.